I realized as I was titling this post that the title would read: “Cassie Contemplates… Nothing.” Well, I assure you I will be writing about something, so please don’t think I am leaving you a blank page this morning.
This weekend, I gave a concert at a church in north-centralWisconsin. During the concert, I shared Bebo Norman’s song “Nothing without You” and how it had impacted my life thus far. I talked about how I viewed the song as a theme song of sorts because it has often reminded me of how I am truly nothing without my Lord and Savior. In addition to singing the song at the concert, I also shared it at the morning services the next day. As I led in the song, I thought about its meaning and how the lyrics have impacted my role in ministry as a musician and songwriter.
I first heard “Nothing without You” while riding in the car one night near sunset. I just couldn’t get over the simplicity but yet unbelievable truth in the lyrics. I couldn’t play guitar, but somehow I knew I would cover the song some day. In 2008, I was given the opportunity to include the song on my CD, and I was truly honored to share its message with my audience. I was just launching my music ministry, and I was excited to sing songs about God’s love and provision, but even on the night of my CD release, I had no idea just how much “Nothing without You” would impact my life on a larger scale.
A few days before the CD release concert, I came down with a cold, and I was immediately disappointed. I prayed that God would relieve my of my symptoms so that I would be able to sing well that night, but even so, my voice continued to be raspy and I couldn’t stop coughing. But I pushed forward and went ahead with plans to release the CD. I waited in the parking lot of a local restaurant while a friend picked up dinner that night, and it hit me just how important the coming evening would be for me. “Please, God,” I remember praying. “I need my voice back. Everyone is coming to hear me sing, and they’re going to be so disappointed if I don’t do this well.”
It was then that God got my attention in a huge way. For the first time in my life, I heard a still, small voice speak to my heart, and I was instantly alert: “They’re not coming to hear you sing,” He whispered to my heart. “They’re coming to hear my message, and I’m sending you out there to tell others about me. Cassie, what made you think any of this was about you?”
It felt as if God had hit me over the head with a two-by-four! I knew what He said was true, but it hurt at the same time. I had been going about everything the wrong way, somehow thinking that my voice was mine and that the songs He had given were mine as well. All the while, He was preparing me to truly serve Him in recognizing that I am nothing without Him.
That night and every performance that followed, I sang “Nothing without You” with a new perspective. He has carried me through a great deal over the years, and at every turn, I have been reminded that He is everything to me and without Him, I am nothing. He has given me the strength to sing and praise Him even when I didn’t think I had the strength to carry on; He has strengthened my voice when it was weakened by allergies and sickness and every breath was a struggle; and he has given me song after song that honors Him above all else. I am His servant, and I can think of nothing better than lifting up His name above all else.
Jesus, I am nothing without You.